Water management in the Savannah River Basin is complicated. With hundred of sources of environmental pollution, the Savannah River is impaired (an EPD designation for polluted) by heavy metals, sediment, and low levels of dissolved oxygen. Industrial expansion and land development put further stress on the watershed and increase risk of even further pollution. Demand for freshwater increases as communities grow larger and local ground water is depleted (a problem particularly acute near coastal areas). Although federal and state governments are supposed to maintain water quality, at least 53 different government entities and many more private entities share responsibility in the Savannah River basin.
Conflicts, oversights, inaccurate assumptions and counter-productive activities have resulted in an urgent need for some sort of general oversight and coordination.
As a result of these issues, a group of citizens joined in 2001 together to address concerns about the various environmental issues affecting the Savannah River and its watershed. From this movement came the Savannah Riverkeeper.
The Savannah Riverkeeper is an advocacy group modeled after the Waterkeeper programs for the Upper Chattahoochee, the Altamaha, and the Catawba rivers; in fact, these groups form a regional network with the common goal of preventing water pollution. The effects of pollution spread far downstream, impacting a huge area and every living thing on or near the river.
To learn more about the 200+ Waterkeeper programs worldwide, visit the Waterkeeper Alliance page. Join us in our efforts - be part of a successful grassroots organization!
The Savannah Riverkeeper's (SRK) mission is to protect the water quality of the Savannah River, the integrity of its watershed and to promote an enlightened stewardship of this unique heritage.
SRK fulfills these objectives through three main goals:
1) Restore water quality in the Savannah River, its lakes and tributaries, to fully support the uses of fishing, swimming, drinking, recreation and habitat protection.
2) Protect the Savannah River, its lakes and tributaries, through the establishment of buffers and the use of best management practices for activities that affect water quality.
3) Educate the people of the Savannah River Basin by creating a culture of water quality protection, inspiring pride in water resources and developing ways to protect those resources.